Saturday, July 8, 2017

Review: Naked Edge by Pamela Clare

Title: Naked Edge
Series: I-Team
Author: Pamela Clare
Read copy: eBook
Published: March 1, 2010
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 1101369973
ISBN-13: 9781101369975

What do you do when desire drives you to the very brink?

The day Navajo journalist Katherine James met Gabriel Rossiter, the earth literally moved beneath her feet. Nearly killed in a rockslide while hiking, she found her life in the tall park ranger's hands. Although she can't forget him she thinks she'll never see him again. She is crushed when she recognizes her rescuer among the law enforcement officers raiding a sweat lodge ceremony one night, throwing her and her friends off Mesa Butte, land they consider sacred.

Gabe long ago swore he would never again lose himself to a woman not even one with long dark hair and big eyes that seem to see right through him. But from the moment he first sees Kat, the attraction he feels is undeniable. Appalled by what he has been ordered to do, he's determined to get to the bottom of recent events at Mesa Butte and to keep Kat safe.

But asking questions can be dangerous almost as dangerous as risking one's heart. And soon Kat and Gabe's passion for the truth and each other makes them targets for those who would do anything, even kill, to keep Native Americans off their sacred land.

My rating:

Three months after he’s saved her life, when she was injured in a rockslide, Gabriel Rossiter comes to Katherine James’s rescue once more, when a cop pulls her by her hair out of a sweat lodge as the Native ceremony is interrupted. Gabe finds the police raid on Mesa Butte more than strange and decides to help Kat, an investigative journalist, look into the matter...Although her motives are not as altruistic as they seem. Plain and simple, he wants her, and more she resists, more he wants her.

When Kat’s life is in danger, Gabe is once more there to protect her, and appoints himself her personal bodyguard, despite knowing deep down he should keep his distance. Because the woman is dangerous to his heart, his body, and his own convictions.

Even hours after finishing this book, I still find it hard to actually put to words my thoughts, and my feelings about it. The rating could be enough, I suppose, and no review could actually convey what a great story this was. But I shall give it a try.

While the rest of the full-length novels in this series were truly romantic suspense books, I’d categorize this one as more of a romance with a “side dish” of suspense. But I will simply call it a love story. Yes, there was suspense, there was a murder, and there was danger, but to me this was simply Kat and Gabe’s love story.

Unlike the previous books, the romance was at the forefront of everything her, dominating the story, hoarding “screen time”, and keeping me reading and turning pages. And what a beautiful romance this was.
It progressed from that first victim-savior moment to acquaintance, from respect to budding friendship, all spiced up by the unmistakable chemistry and attraction, and budding up into a strong, unshakable bond of love, a love story that culminated in that heart-rendering scene at the end of chapter 30.

Kat and Gabe were perfect for each other. Both strong, both independent, both with issues from their past, issues that came out throughout their story, as they slowly healed and saved one another, though Gabe needed a lot more TLC that Kat. The woman knew just what she wanted, and knew her heart, and her feelings perfectly well, and yes, her issues weren’t as deep or as “traumatic” as Gabe’s was.
The man was a mess, although the issue that made him such an asshole was rather horrible, it was also very predictable, and quite easily solved, if he weren’t a man, obviously. It was easier bottling it all up, than working and talking it through, and he ended up where he ended up. And then Kat came along, and he had no idea what was happening to him.
His inner monologues were a hoot to read, and his slow recovery, and acceptance truly beautiful. Pity, it took him so long to speak up his mind, with a serious threat once more needed to resolve everything.

Granted, that last “miracle” was a bit too much, especially after the ordeal of reading the pivotal scene in chapter 30 and those few paragraphs of chapter 31. It was a too simple solution, a Deus ex Machina ploy, and overly “fictitious”, but, damn it, it worked, and I loved it.

Compared to the love story, the suspense had no other options than take the back seat, and although the motive remained a mystery until almost the very end, the true villain of it was rather predictable, or maybe my intuition kicked in, I don’t know. The fact is, the big reveal wasn’t as much a surprise as it could’ve been.
Still, the suspense element was solid and well-paced.

What struck me most about this book, besides the love story that is, was the feel of it. I don’t think the voice or narrative style was different, since the author is the same, but the feeling of reading it was different.
It started in the prologue, as Kat’s drove to the park and hiked, and continued throughout the story, and the epilogue...Although the story was rather fast-paced, the suspense intriguing, and the romance wonderful, and yes, I wanted to learn what happens next, I felt the urgency to do so, there was no I-have-to-turn-the-page-as-soon-as-possible feeling. It was all strangely peaceful and relaxed. I don’t really know how to explain. Weird, right?

Anyway you look at it, this was an amazing story. Loads of information about Native Americans, and their culture, religion and mythology, wonderful characters, absolutely amazing love story, good suspense, and tons of pathos, especially with that big tearjerker scene...


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